Strictly Come Dancing Fleur East taking part to honour her late dad
Fleur East is taking part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing to honour her late dad.
The singer, 34, told ED! she’d agreed to take part as a tribute to her beloved father, who was a huge fan of the BBC One dance show.
Fleur admits her dad was such a Strictly addict, he even snuck out to watch the show when his daughter was on The X Factor!
Why is Fleur East taking part on Strictly Come Dancing?
Fleur spoke to us at a press launch for Strictly Come Dancing 2022.
She told us she’s excited for the experience, but there’s an emotional reason for agreeing this year.
She said: “I wanted something to challenge myself.
“But at first, I’ll be honest, I was very dubious because of how daunting the task is.
“And then for me it was more like an emotional connection.”
Fleur added: “My sister reminded me that my dad used to force us to watch the show every year.
“It was something we’d watch religiously in my household.
“Sadly he passed away in 2020.”
Lorraine viewers will know that Fleur broke down when talking about her dad on the show in August.
Wiping away tears, she told stand-in host Ranvir Singh: “I hope I get to dance to some of my songs…
“For me, it’s quite emotional.
“My dad who passed away in 2020, Strictly was his favourite show.”
She added: “I’m going to be doing it for him.
“I’m just gutted he can’t see me do it, but I’m going to keep him in mind during the show…”
Who was Fleur East’s dad?
The I’m A Celebrity star even admitted that her dad Malcolm East was such a fan, he dragged himself away from watching his daughter on The X Factor in 2005 and 2011 respectively.
She revealed: “My sister Keisha also reminded me that, when I was on The X Factor, dad used to sneak out and check the Strictly result because he’d be so annoyed he’d missed the show!
“As soon as my sister said all of that, I went ‘stop, stop, stop talking, I’m doing it’.
“That’s it for me, because I like the thought of him knowing that I’m doing it.”
Tragically, Fleur’s dad died of a heart attack two years ago.
Fleur fans will know that she first hit the public eye as part of girl band Addictiv Ladies on series two of The X Factor in 2005.
However, the band was eliminated after week one.
In 2014, Fleur returned to The X Factor as a solo artist.
Fleur East was the 12th confirmed celebrity contestant
Singer-songwriter, TV and radio presenter Fleur was the 12th confirmed celebrity contestant on Strictly Come Dancing 2022.
She joined the list of names, including Matt Goss, Kym Marsh, Will Mellor, Helen Skelton and James Bye.
After her announcement, she said: “I’m equally nervous and thrilled to be part of this year’s Strictly line up.
“I’m excited to learn new skills and I want to soak up every moment of this magical experience.
“It’s such an honour to be on the show after years of watching it with my Father who loved it so much.
“Unfortunately my Dad is no longer with us but I know he will be watching over the ballroom in spirit.
“I’m doing this to make him and my family proud and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!”
Read more: Fleur East on hair discrimination and how she learned to embrace her natural locks
Watch Fleur East take part in Strictly Come Dancing as the show launches on Friday September 23 2022 at 7pm. The first live show follows on Saturday September 24 at 6.45pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
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